THE BENEFACTOR OF THE PRESIDENTIAL FAMILY

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THE BENEFACTOR OF THE PRESIDENTIAL FAMILY

REN TV, Chto Sluchilos’, May 29, 1999, 22:30

Roman Abramovich’s name appeared in various newspapers this week. He is the owner of Sibneft and is considered to be a benefactor of the presidential family. Formally he is the director of a branch office of Sibneft, but in reality he is the owner of the company and a major shareholder in Mosnikprodukt and the All-Russian Nickel Producing Company. In other words, he controls more than 1.5 billion tones of oil.

This week an amazing thing happened: the prices for shares of Russian enterprises rose sharply on Western markets. The rise was higher than on the domestic market. The rise of Sibneft shares was the highest. The political meaning of this is quite clear: Berezovsky has returned to the political stage and is jump-starting the activities of Abramovich.

ZADORNOV ON HIS RESIGNATION

Independent Television, Geroi Dnya, May 28, 1999, 19:40

Mikhail Zadornov explained his resignation in an interview to Independent Television. The reason is quite clear: he was made an unexpected proposal on Tuesday. But Zadornov did not plan to become first vice premier. He wanted to continue his work in the Finance Ministry. He noted that if Alexander Zhukov were appointed first vice premier he would be satisfied with the post of finance minister. As he stated, “I never wanted that position. And it was planned by Sergei Stepashin that Zhukov would become first vice premier for economic issues and I would keep the position of finance minister.”

MEETING OF THE CABINET

Russian Television, Vesti, May 29, 1999, 20:00

On May 29, the new staff of the government met to discuss the main directions of its economic activities and the prospects for relations with international financial organizations. The meeting was closed. None of the members of the Cabinet were present at the traditional briefing after the meeting. Chief of the Governmental Press Service Alexander Mikhailov talked with journalists. He said that the prime minister has his own views concerning candidates for first vice premier.

One of the candidates may be First Deputy Finance Minister Victor Khristenko. But the premier did not express his opinion about a possible candidate. By the way, Zhukov, who was present at the meeting, stated that he does not want the post of the first vice premier.

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